On the night and morning of March 9, Russia fired 81 rockets into Ukraine. Arrivals were recorded in Kiev, Odessa and Kharkov, explosions were also reported in Nikolaev, Dnipro, Krivoy Rog, Zaporozhye, Zhytomyr, Ivano-Frankivsk, Khmelnitsky and Ternopil regions. The fired missiles included 28 X-101/X-555, 20 Caliber, six X-22s, six Kinzhals, eight X-31Ps and six X-59s. Eight launches of Shahed-136/131 drones were also recorded. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry also suggests that among the missiles fired by Russia were 13 S-300s. Due to the shelling in several regions, power was cut off as a preventive measure. In Kyiv, about 40% of consumers were left without heating. In the Lvov region, Russia shelled a residential area, killing five people. Four people died in the Kherson region.
Also, due to Russian shelling, the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant was completely de-energized. Its power supply was restored after six hours. Thus, the station went into emergency mode for the sixth time during a full-scale war. As the Ukrainian Energoatom writes, the 5th and 6th power units were transferred to a cold state, 18 diesel generators were also turned on to power the ZNPP's own needs.
The head of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, said that the situation with the ZNPP is reminiscent of a game of dice, but one day “luck will run out”: “This is the sixth time – I repeat again: the SIXTH – when the ZNPP lost all external power supply and was forced to work in emergency mode. I remind you that this is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. What are we doing? How can we sit here in this room this morning and let this happen? This cannot continue. I am struck by the complacency: what are we doing to prevent this from happening? We are the IAEA, and we are called to take care of nuclear safety. Every time we roll the dice. And if we let it happen time after time, one day our luck will run out.”
According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the Armed Forces of Ukraine have completed a controlled withdrawal from the eastern part of the city across the Bakhmutka River. Experts believe that Russian troops now occupy at least 50% of Bakhmut. They will probably increase their attacks in the northwest and southwest of Bakhmut (north of Opytny and south of Yagodnoye, respectively) in order to bypass Bakhmutka. ISW also emphasizes that the Russian military is unlikely to quickly break through Bakhmut if they capture it. According to the project of the "military correspondent" Semyon Pegov WarGonzo, on March 9, Wagner PMCs operated, including in the south-west of Bakhmut: near Ivanovsky and on the southern outskirts of the city itself from the side of Experienced. Also, according to WarGonzo, from the north of Bakhmut, Wagner PMCs advanced a little in the city from the side of Yagodny. The Insider talked about the situation in the city with Ukrainian military expert Roman Svitan. He believes that it is not profitable for the Armed Forces of Ukraine to retreat from Bakhmut.
Bakhmut itself is a good line of defense in conjunction with an excess in Chasov Yar. This is a line echeloned in height, which covers each other: Bakhmut from the east from below, Chasov Yar from above from the west. Bakhmutka is also a line of defense. It is not advisable to leave this line, so the Ukrainian troops will not even plan for it. The plan now is to destroy the Russian troops, bring the destruction in this area to at least a thousand people a day and mow down further.
The liberation of territories is never the task of the army. Its task is the destruction of the enemy, and the liberation of territories is a consequence. If the entire Russian army lines up in a column in the Bakhmut area, and they destroy it there for several months, then there will be no need to liberate any territories later, because the Russian army will leave from there on its own. In the place where more is destroyed, it is necessary to stop and mow further.
According to ISW, the Kremlin may be trying to create a new armed formation, which is planned to be declared a volunteer unit. The Russian authorities are going to do this through Gazprom. According to military correspondent Alexander Kots, units of the new PMCs are already entering the Donetsk region and other regions occupied by Russia. “In Donetsk, the military people are talking about PMC Gazpromneft. People are interested in salaries, which, according to rumors, are twice as high as in Wagner - from 400 thousand rubles "base", plus fighting for participation. It turns out at all a fabulous amount of 600 thousand per month, ”writes Kots. Later, he clarified that these were not PMCs, but volunteer formations such as the Combat Army Reserve of the Country. According to him, despite good funding, it is experiencing a shortage of supplies.
The fact that Gazpromneft wants to create a private security organization to protect the Russian energy infrastructure became known in early February. On February 6, the state corporation received permission from the authorities. According to Ukrainian intelligence, the creation of the company is part of the Kremlin’s plan to remove Yevgeny Prigozhin, owner of PMC Wagner, and his militants from business.
Prigogine fell out of favor
Prigozhin said that he, as well as the mercenaries of PMC Wagner, were completely disconnected from the government communication line and were no longer allowed into Russian ministries. He claims that this is how the Ministry of Defense continues to bend the line with the refusal to provide the militants with shells. “In order for me to stop asking for ammunition, they turned off all special telephones for me in all offices, in all divisions. Another important point that we made was to block all passes to all departments that should make a decision. I will not name them, so as not to discredit them in any way, ”says Prigozhin in a voice message published on the Telegram channel of his press service. Also, according to "cook" Putin, the situation with ammunition at the PMC has not changed, and now he can influence it only with the help of the media.
On the night of March 8-9, Russia fired several Kinzhal hypersonic missiles across Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry reported that they hit "key elements of the military infrastructure", the defense industry and the energy sector of Ukraine: "The goal of the retaliation strike has been achieved, all designated military infrastructure facilities of Ukraine have been hit." Yury Ignat, spokesman for the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said that this was an unprecedented attack, since Russia had never used so many “Daggers” at the same time before: “I don’t remember such a thing happening before. Six "Daggers" in total were fired by the enemy. Various aircraft were used, in particular, strategic long-range aircraft and the MiG-31K. Ignat also added that the Armed Forces of Ukraine cannot shoot down Kinzhals, and therefore they pose a danger to Ukraine.
For the first time, "Daggers" were demonstrated in March 2018, during Putin's message to the Federal Assembly. It was claimed that they fly at hypersonic speeds after being dropped at a given point. During the flight, "Daggers" can exceed the speed of sound by 10 times, while maneuvering throughout the entire flight path. This allows them to overcome all existing air and missile defense systems. According to military expert Alexander Kovalenko, Kinzhals are unique missiles, and therefore the launch of six of them at once is extremely unusual:
Russia has a small number of "Daggers", they were not mass-produced. One such missile has more than 130 foreign-made electronic components, including American ones. These are microchips, microcircuits, semiconductors, which, due to the imposition of sanctions, cannot be mass-produced in Russia. Their production is in a state of suspended animation. This is a unique rocket, which is in short supply for the whole of 2022. If I'm not mistaken, Russian aviation used them only seven times, that is. seven "Daggers" were fired, and here six at once per night. This may be due to two related reasons. The first is that the Kinzhal itself cannot be effectively intercepted by the air defense systems that are in service with the Ukrainian army. In fact, this missile, when used by the Russian side, breaks through air defense systems with a fairly high probability. It follows from this that the use of these missiles by the Russian command is possible if they want to strike at some object, which, in the vision of the Russian command, is strategically important.
The second point comes from the fact that it is impossible to use "Daggers" in hundreds, as well as in dozens. This is a very painful blow to the ammunition load. If the Russian command went for the use of such a unique missile in such quantities, then the question arises that they could not replace these six missiles with sixty cruise missiles of a different nomenclature, for example, the Kh-101 or sea-based Caliber. They simply had nothing to replace. There was not the required number to supplement the breakthrough of air defense, and it was very important for the Russian command to destroy these objects, and therefore they used the "Daggers".
Armed Forces of Ukraine established the identity of the executed soldier
The Armed Forces of Ukraine have identified an unarmed Ukrainian soldier who was shot in a video that appeared online on March 6. This is a fighter of the 163rd battalion of the 119th separate brigade of the territorial defense of the Chernihiv region Alexander Matsievsky. Before the war, he worked as an electrician in Kyiv. It is alleged that Matsievsky stopped communicating after December 30, when, together with his colleagues, he entered into battle with the Russians near Soledar. It is not known how he got into Russian captivity. The man was recognized by his mother and son. His body was handed over to his relatives as part of the exchange of the dead.
Deliveries of weapons and military equipment
Germany and Poland will deliver 28 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine this month. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said Germany would supply 18 tanks, while Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said ten. Three tanks from Portugal will also arrive. Polish tanks should arrive in Ukraine before the end of this week. Blaszczak also said that Poland is starting to create a hub for servicing Leopard 2A4 tanks delivered to Ukraine.
Polish President Andrzej Duda, in turn, confirmed that the country is ready to transfer to Ukraine all the remaining MiG-29 aircraft in service: “That part of the MiG-29 that remained in Poland and which now serves in our air force, we are ready to transfer these aircraft. And I am sure that Ukraine would be ready to use them immediately.” The decision to transfer the MiG-29 to Ukraine was also announced by Slovak Defense Minister Yaroslav Nagy. Now it must be approved by the country's parliament.
Read about what happened at the front on March 8 in The Insider’s report “The Tankenstein curse, the possibility of a UAF counteroffensive, secret Iranian supplies. What's going on at the front.